Man looking at a tablet with optimized images

Demystifying the Benefits of SEO Image Optimization

What is Image Optimization?

Image Optimization means that you are putting it in a standard format that is optimized for the web. The aim is to keep the image in the smallest possible size yet not compromise on quality. The process of resizing the images or compressing them is a large part of image optimization. The optimized image, combined with good website marketing, can help to improve the overall performance of your website.

Why is Optimizing Images essential?

Large image files may cause a website to take more time to load, and this is not good for business. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, users might click away. Remember your website should have minimum bounce rates if you want to rank higher.

Image optimization boosts a website’s SEO rankings due to improved page load speeds and user experience. As a result, the users might refer their friends and family to your site and sales will shoot up.

Let’s dive into the importance of optimizing your web images in detail:

Enhances the Load Speed of a Web Page

The amount of time taken by a web page to load during browsing is called Page Load speed. This depends on a variety of factors such as the speed of browsers and the download speed of the browsing devices. Research shows that users love websites that take the least amount of time to load. Actually, any speed less than 3 seconds is preferable.

The weight of a website’s content determines whether it will load fast or not. By optimizing your website images, you will be able to have a ‘lighter’ website weight with images that load quickly. Most online users don’t have much time to spare because they have busy lives. Website visitors won’t hesitate to move to the next website if they don’t get a faster browsing experience on your website. To analyze your page load speed, use PageSpeed Insights and Web Page Test tools provided by Google.

Enhances your SEO Ranking

By now, you have probably heard of the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Have you tried searching for something on the internet? Say you want to know the details about a particular item in a country. More often than not you will find suggestions offered to you about similar alternatives of what you are looking for. That is what SEO is about.

It is a growing marketing discipline which more companies are using nowadays. It can be described as the process of making your website readily available online in the conventional search engines. It aims at making it easier for internet users to have access to alternative options from what they are looking for. Keywords are used to help make the websites appear higher in the priority list of specific search engines.

Though SEO is complex, its basics can be understood by almost everyone. Guidelines are available on the internet, which makes it a lot easier to understand. However, those willing to learn must practice a lot to become gurus of this trend. Some people who find this too complex have resorted to the services of experts who are familiar with implementing search optimization. The most common search engines that are used globally are Google and Bing.

Website owners should work hand in hand with these commercial search engines to create traffic and thus generate non-stop flow visits by internet users. If these search engines cannot find the content of your website; then it will not be ranked in the priority list which can hurt your business. Research has shown that the success of a website in the current world setup solely depends on the availability of its content on the search box of major research engines.

Page load speed is a factor considered in the SEO ranking of websites. Therefore image optimization will improve your website’s position in the SEO rankings and thus increase your sales by expanding the website’s market reach.

Boosts Online Interactions

Now that you have improved your SEO ranking and ensured that the load speeds are fast enough, it is more likely that users will remain on your site. Additionally, having images on your page that directly relate to the content will keep readers interested and hopefully encourage more interaction, such as commenting or sharing.

Also, an image does not necessarily mean a “picture”.  It can be an infographic, screenshot, photo, etc.  Image more relates to the file type than the content included, such as .jpg and .png.

Where can I get images?

When it comes to SEO image optimization, always try to use original images first. Borrowing images from an outside source can not only damage your SEO campaign plan but may also violate copyright laws. Original, unique, and high-quality images will always resonate well with your audience and get you off to a great start.  There are also numerous stock image sites such as DepositPhotos.com that sell stock images that can be used royalty free.

8 Tips for Optimizing Images

1. Use Relevant Images

One thing that you wouldn’t want to do is to mislead your website visitors. You should provide them with relevant images that represent your products. It is a turnoff when they see an attractive image on your web page only to find that it was bait to get them to view your website. Also, avoid using images that you may have downloaded from other websites. This is because it can get you in trouble with copyright laws. Plan for photo shoots by professional photographers and pick the best pictures which you will later optimize and place on your website page.

2. Use Alternative Tags

The alternative (alt) tags play a role in your website that many people do not think about. The alt text is used by screen readers that assist visually impaired persons. This also goes along with suggested accessibility guidelines.  Additionally, many people choose to turn off images on their browser to speed load time.  Be sure to describe the image while using targeted keywords.

3. Use Image Titles

While this does not have a huge impact on SEO, some SEO experts insist on using titles for images. Again, use keywords, but keep the title short and compliment the content.

4. Use a Good File Name

The file name should contain a keyword or phrase that describes the image. Separate the words with dashes.  You do not need to use a long file name that describes everything going on in the image.

5. Use Best Quality Images

Pick images that are not blurry and which show detailed information. Don’t be in a rush to compress images to the point that quality is compromised.  This may cause visitors to look somewhere else for their needs. Choose the best images and which are the highest quality at the smallest file size.

6. Use Captions

Captions give a brief description of the items that the image represents. Website visitors normally want to get an idea about what a website offers in one click. Use captivating captions that will draw their attention and make them want to find out more about your website.  Captions are not used very often these days, but if it is appealing and enhances the user experience, feel free to add captions.

7. Use an Image Site Map

Image sitemaps help search engines find images relevant to the search requested. Many times, a user will do a search based on just images and the site map will help search engines to find read the metadata in the image and show it in the search results. XML-Sitemaps has great information on all types of sitemaps for your website.

8. Image File Size

To get better-optimized image results, pick high-quality images. It is advisable to pick the image that has the largest number of pixels, and when converted won’t lose many details. The main goal is to give an overview of the product in one glimpse. The smaller image size will also help a page to load faster. This plays a larger role when the site has a lot of images, such as an e-commerce website.

Optimizing images for SEO purposes is nota complicated process.  Just using a few tricks like alt tags and file size can help reduce page load speed and increase search rankings.  At FarsideDev we specialize in search engine optimization and we are always willing to sit down with you and go over your current search SEO strategy.  Call us today at 817.402.4151 or reach us online here!

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